1) Foreign Journalist Blacklisted by Indonesian Immigration
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - A freelance journalist who works for a number of well-known international news outlets, Jack Hewson, has recently been blacklisted by Indonesian immigration office. Hewson, who used to be based in Jakarta, was informed about the news as he was leaving for the Philippines.
“I have been blacklisted from Indonesia for reasons that are yet to be established,” said Hewson through his twitter account on Tuesday, March 28, 2017.
An activist of Human Rights Watch, Andreas Harsono, explained that Hewson informed him regarding his blacklist before he departed for the Philippines on Monday evening, March 27, 2017. According to Andreas, immigration officers at Terminal II Cengkareng talked to Hewson for roughly 30 minutes and asked Hewson what he had done that infuriated the Indonesian government.
“I told them that I don’t know and the only thing I had in mind was sending a letter to the Presidential Staff headquarters (Chief Presidential Staff Teten Masduki and Presidential Spokesperson Johan Budi) to clarify of my trip to Papua,” Hewson said to Andreas on Tuesday, March 28, 2017.
Hewson had already consulted with Andreas regarding his plan to covering news on Freeport in Timika, Papua. “I suggested him to follow what President Jokowi repeatedly said: Just go!” Andreas said.
Unfortunately, after leaving Indonesia last night, Hewson was not allowed to return to Indonesia. Andreas assured that the Human Rights Watch will firmly protest the incident, which seems to be a form of harassment against a foreign journalist living in Indonesia.
Head of Public Relations and General Directorate of Immigration, Agung Sampurno, said that the blacklist against Hewson was based on a request from the Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI). TNI sent the request to immigration office on February 9, 2017. The blacklist will take effect for the next six months.
Agung explained that Hewson has allegedly violated Article 75 (1) of Immigration Law. This Article states that immigration officials have the right to conduct administrative actions against a foreigner living in Indonesia who conducts a dangerous activity for the security and public order or fails to respect or disobeys the laws.
“The person involved was provided an explanation by immigration officers before his departure [from Indonesia], that he will be rejected once he comes back to Indonesia,” Agung explained.
Agung denied the notion that it is a form of deportation since Hewson’s acted on his own will to leave Indonesia.
MAYA AYU PUSPITASARI